For the first time ever, we were able to get away to the North Carolina mountains during peak leaf peeping time. We have always wanted to go, but it has never worked out for one reason or another.
We chose Banner Elk, about half an hour from Boone and Blowing Rock, because it had a pet friendly hotel that wasn’t too expensive.
We left early on Saturday morning, made a quick stop in Lexington, N.C. for Lexington #1 BBQ and then finished the relatively short drive to Blowing Rock, N.C.
The town was pack with people popping in and out of little shops. We didn’t stop on the way up, because it was packed.
Since it was October, Sugar Mountain was having an Oktoberfest that we wanted to check out. It had been raining earlier that day, but thankfully it wasn’t too muddy.
We loaded Piggy up on a bus and took the very short drive (we totally could have walked) up to the festival. Unfortunately, it was wall to wall people without much room to meander, so we only stayed for a few minutes.
We then made our way to Banner Elk and checked into the hotel.
For dinner, we headed down the mountain to a tiny town called Spruce Pine. Brandon had read about a highly trained chef from California who married a North Carolina girl and opened up this amazing restaurant in Spruce Pine called Knife and Fork. They even have a bar upstairs called Spoon, which serves amazing cocktails.
At Knife and Fork, we were treated to a delicious cheese board, a dish they called Trout Marrow, which was more like a trout pate and…….a Porterhouse steak for two with swiss chard and crispy fingerling potatoes. The steak was perfectly cooked on a wood burning grill just outside the restaurant. It was so amazing that we forgot to take a picture of it. Oh well, it will forever live on in our memory.
On Sunday, we got up extra early to go hiking
on Beech Mountain. This was Piggy’s first time hiking a mountain. He had so much fun. After the hike, we took him to the dog park to play. Unfortunately, he was the only puppy there at the time, but he still had a lot of fun.
After our adventures outside, we cleaned up and headed out to Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. It is a cute little shop with tons of things crammed inside.
We then made our way to Boone, N.C. to check out the town. Boone is a college town, and so there are a lot of little shops, coffee shops and places to eat. We checked out a really cool antique shop and had pizza at Capones. By this time, we were quite exhausted so we headed back to the hotel to rest.
On Monday, we packed up the car and the dog and went to check out the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unfortunately, it was extremely foggy, so we didn’t get to enjoy the views. It was also raining, but that didn’t stop us. We made a quick stop in Blowing Rock to walk around before heading home.
I love the mountains and I am so glad we were able to go. The colors were perfect and, despite a little bit of rain, the cold weather was a nice change from the muggy and humid beach.
I can’t wait to go back.